Puella Advice

A frustrated Hannah asks Homura for advice. Thoughts are kept, shared, and Hannah finds the greatest secret of all Mahou: Homura Giggles.

Date: 2016-01-03
Pose Count: 12
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-03 23:25:23 20562
It's been a frustrating few weeks for Hannah Sharpe. All of her attempts to create usable artificial grief seeds have ended in failure, her approach far more cautious after what happened last time. So too has her attempts to divine the nature of the Puella themselves. Worse still, their very stated objective has hardly gone swimmingly given the feelings of a certain group of Puella.

Finally, it's all too much. Hannah's called in Homura to her office. Unlike her usual vibrant self, she seems utterly troubled and even a bit self-reflective. That's a look Hannah /never/ has. The woman is stuck in a rutt, and it seems to be truly getting on her nerves.

When Homura arrives, Hannah's leaning back in her comfy office chair, coffee already made for the other girl and her feet up on the table. She's wearing slippers, given she's been in the lab for quite some time recently when she's managed to avoid her family.

"Hey Homura. I need your thoughts on a few things."
Homura Akemi 2016-01-03 23:32:43 20563
    Homura Akemi arrives, as summoned. She walks into the office, wearing her usual business suit and a pair of black shades. Shades that she removes to drop into a chest pocket, uncovering her cold purple eyes. She sits across from Hannah, looking across her desk. An eyebrow raises slightly at Hannah's... unusual disposition, but only for a moment.

    She glances at the coffee, takes a sip of it, and then places it back down. "You seem to have been working pretty hard recently. I do have one bit of good news I want to share. Sayaka might not be as dumb as previously thought."

    Hannah asks for her thoughts, and Homura states, "Well, alright. I can try to help with that."
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-03 23:44:08 20567
Hannah dips her head a bit with a sigh. "Please don't remind me of the lab work right now." That's /not/ a good sign. Something's hit her hard, perhaps.

But whatever funk is gripping Hannah, it at least slightly dissipates as Homura speaks up. She puts her feet down, sits up, and elbows go to the desk.

"First things first, lay it on me. I need some good news Homura. Did you manage to get through to her or something? I love a good fight, but constantly angering Puella Magi kinda goes against everything I'm trying to do here. I don't need some hero running around treating me like I'm a demon or something." Yup, Miss White is hanging on Homura's every word.

A small sigh. "So, I'm going to level with you Homura. Every single experiment I've tried to replicate /anything/ about you Puella Magi since that grief seed episode has been a failure. Some of my worst enemies are Puella, and if I really think about it, I can't exactly blame them. How did it sink to this point, and how the heck do I bail this out? I need your opinions, Homura, I'm frankly running out of ideas and there's nobody who knows more about this than you."
Homura Akemi 2016-01-03 23:57:46 20570
    Homura heeds the request about the lab work and asks no more.

    When asked about good news, Homura glances off to the side. She has to think about it... is it really good news? Well, best to just lay the story out and let Hannah judge for herself.

    "Well, here's the deal. Sayaka Miki and I ran across each other while fighting a Witch. She was green as grass, and so I stepped in to make sure she didn't die. I saved her life once, she saved my life later on, we ended up with an uneasy truce and I gave her the Grief Seed. I shouldn't really be that generous, but... she's so new that I thought I'd feel better if she had a bit more breathing room."

    Homura flips her hands as she explains, "As a result, I think I have at least made a positive impression on her. She doesn't hate me specifically. However, Kyouko-san loves to play her particular victim card against WPS as a whole and the truth is I don't have much of a defense against it."

    Homura props her elbows on the desk, leaning foward and clasping her hands together. "The truly good news is the fact that Mami and I have at least agreed to cooperate in order to deal with the Walpurgisnacht problem. Which... has been confirmed by the way. We can expect that around the end of the month. There's no shortage of support for that."

    Homura takes in a deep breath. "As for replicating Puella-related things... well, I don't know. I mean you're talking about replicating something more out-of-reach than a physical law. I have no idea how Kyubey's people do it. As for the rest..."

    Homura leans back in her chair, looking up at the ceiling. "Honestly, I think we've achieved our goal in the exact opposite way. We've brought the other Puella Magi closer because they side against us. I could say that we should've handled Kyouko better. Walpurgisnacht might be a good chance to at least temporarily bond with them. I'll certainly be using it for that."
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-04 00:15:23 20574
The story is ran over in Hannah's mind, and it at least gets her smiling. She chuckles, and nods.

"If I weren't mistaken, I'd say you're getting /soft/ Homura." Teases the young woman, before giving a thumbs up.

"Good. A green Puella running around is a danger to herself /and/ others. Yeesh. I might have to go and give her a few pointers. Or let her use me as a punching bag for a while. Maybe try to make a deal. But...hmm?"

"It always does come down to that, doesn't it? Well, don't you worry. I have a plan. Think you can get in contact with those three? We don't have the kind of room to be worrying about Kyouko stirring the pot against us. I'll probably need someone to drag me out of there if things go...poorly." From the look on her face, Hannah's not too certain she can wiggle her way out of this one.

Hannah outright let out a sigh of relief. "You did? No kidding! Homura. Keep this up and you're getting a raise! Great! End of the month, huh? I'll make sure me and my Device are up to snuff by then. I've got a few new tricks to try out, heh."

Hannah nods. "Well, at least you get it. But I'm not going to stop trying. If that little rat can do it, like hell if I can't!"

She calms and then grins. "Heh, perfect. Yeah, that'll go on the list. Just let me know if you need anything for preparations. Don't worry about the cost."

At the end of it, she looks a little more like her old self.

"We're also going to gear up to start giving the Dark Kingdom a good thrashing. Going to use some contacts to see who else wants to help. And of course, drag Mamoru back kicking and screaming."

Coffee sip. On to lighter topics. "Well, that's about all the business I have for you, Homura, just needed to tap your mind." The tie comes off, and she's smiling.

"So how's our little pink wonderball doing? Haven't seen her in a bit, been too busy in the lab. Been taking good care of her, I hope?"
Homura Akemi 2016-01-04 00:29:36 20578
    Soft... Was Homura getting soft? "Yeah... I guess I am. I have my reasons, and I think they're practical, but I'll admit they're soft. I'll own that."

    Homura scratches the back of her head, when asked about meeting with the other Puella. "Well, there's already going to be a strategy briefing on Walpurgisnacht exactly one week from today. If you could make it to that, you'd probably see at least Mami and probably Kyouko. They aren't so close-knit a group that you could reliably get three of them at the same time, though."

    "If you do go to that meeting," Homura glances off to the side, "... there's a strict no-violence rule. I think Mami and I could enforce it if we combine our powers. If you absolutely need to leave, well, I do have my timestop powers."

    Homura looks a bit guilty at the mention of a raise. This is a bit more expression than she actually gives, normally. "Uh... yeah." On the mention of Kyubey, Homura shrugs. "Well, I mean, he's already proven that it's possible. From one point of view it's just a matter of figuring out the details."

    Yeah, but Hannah might not like those details once she figures them out. Homura actually feels a bit more guilty now.

    When asked about Madoka, Homura at least looks a bit happier. "We've been getting pretty close in the past couple of months. She's just as sweet and kind as she's always been. I'm a worried about the... more disturbing sides of her boyfriend, but he's also not threatening her specifically."
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-04 00:43:16 20579
Hannah leans back. "That's not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you achieve your goals, the methods don't matter as much. So, don't get too hung up about it okay? You always seem the type to get some worry or concern, and hold it in until it explodes. Take some advice from me. Maybe it was different in your own timeline, but here? Sometimes secrets should be shared before they rip you to shreds."

"Oh, definitely. There needs to be something like a plan." Pause. "Did you get catering set up? I know this /great/ company!" Grin! She grows more serious though.

"Hmm, so they have their own problems. Could be something I could work with in the future, but for the moment, I'll see what I can do. Yeah, maybe best to not do it during the meeting. I don't want to ruin that with something that's comparatively minor. We have a city to keep in one piece."

Hannah's eyes noticably narrow at the guilt flashing through Homura's voice. There's this peering look, as the magical girl tries to get a bead on her employee.

Miss White doesn't immediately speak up, but there's definitely a bit of extra attention on Homura right now.

Grin! "Now that's the right attitude, Homura!" Reeeach, whack! She smacks the smaller girl on the back, hard.

Oh, Madoka and Ta-kun. Sigh. "Well, keep an eye on things. And let me know if I can do anything to help with the kid. She's a sweet girl. A friend. It's more than just a promise now. I don't want that kid ever having to fight at the beck and call of that little fuzzy car salesman. You get any bright ideas on how to give her power without making her a slave? Track me down."

Then she laughs. "I /am/ glad though. You need a sweet friend without any pretentions or ambitions. She's good for you. You smile a lot more now than when I first met you. You're not so cold anymore. You actually feel alive."
Homura Akemi 2016-01-04 00:58:24 20583
    'Sometimes secrets should be shared before they rip you to shreds'. Homura looks at Hannah. It's clear that she heard it, but it's not so clear that she believes it. "That may be true for some secrets, but certainly not for others."

    She tilts her head at the mention of catering. "Um... I hadn't thought about that. Knowing Tomoe-san I figured she'd want to cook, but it might be better to get catering. I don't know, I'll have to talk with her. Since I need her on board for this, it's better that I respect her ego for now."

    Homura chuckles, "Technically, she was my sensei, even if by this point I've got way more experience than her. I just wish she was a bit more reliable."

    On the subject of Madoka, Homura actually smiles. "I have been a lot happier since she's been in my life. I'm not sure I've ever been this close to her before. I wont pretend that hasn't been therapeutic..." She glances off to the side. "I think she's doing it on purpose, actually. Not that I mind. I still don't know how to get her powers, though. She doesn't seem like she's interested in fighting at all, most of the time... but sometimes I see this look in her eyes. It's a confident look, that she often gets when she's a magical girl."

    "She might be hiding her true feelings from me, out of a fear that she might scare me."
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-04 01:21:46 20594
A smirk comes to Hannah's face. "That's the rub isn't it? Trying to figure out which ones to give away, and which ones to hold close. Kind of like a blind girl trying to defuse a bomb. One wire blows you and everyone up, the other saves the day and you have little to no idea which one you're cutting."

Arms cross! "Have you learned /nothing/ here Homura Akemi? You ALWAYS get catering. It makes people happy, you shove enough drinks in people they start saying really juicy things, and it makes you look good. But yeah, I won't turn down free food."

A raised brow. "You really need to tell me more about your school life. I mean, before...you got into magical stuff. What you were like. I mean, if you want to. I understand if it's bad memories." Maybe Hannah's gone a little soft too, actually thinking about Homura's feelings.

A deep sigh. "Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. But come on, you of all people should know she's going to come running anyway. She wants to help people, and now that the magical kitty is out of the bag, just about the only thing we can realistically do is find her an alternative. She won't /want/ to fight. But when someone's in danger? That kid will. I can feel it in her voice whenever something horrible happens. She hates it, being weak, being helpless. Trust me, I know what that feeling's like." She struggles with it every day after all.

"You want me to try to do some digging on it, Homura, or do you have our puffball handled?"
Homura Akemi 2016-01-04 01:36:25 20599
    Homura snorts. "Yeah well, when you've had the benefit of time travel you know what bombs have already blown up in your face before. At least for some wires."

    She pauses for a moment before saying, "... though I do think I should get better at sharing what I really think."

    At Hannah's insistence, Homura considers. "Huh. Well, sure. You have a point. We'll have to cater it then. Especially considering we're expecting people from both Eclipse and Virtue, as well as several... volatile Puella Magi. Anything that makes it easier for people to get along will help."

    On the question of her school life, Homura frowns. Hannah might not be able to see her expression, but the way Homura sounds distant when she responds should give at least some of her feelings away. "I was a lot different back then. Not as tough. Not nearly as brave. Maybe in some ways I'm like how Madoka is now."

    Hannah states what Homura knows, and fears. Madoka wants to help. There's no denying that. "I can't argue. It's not about fighting for her. It's about protecting what's important. That's the way she phrased it when we were talking the other day. Of course... I've also got my important someone that I want to protect, above all else, and that's her."

    Homura hesitates, before asking, "... I think I have it handled, I mean I'm pretty close to her right now. If she can't find a better way, well she'd be stuck in the same unfair situation she's always in. Either she dies very young or she lives helpless and afraid. Either way she doesn't grow up."
Hannah Sharpe 2016-01-04 01:53:15 20601
Reeeach! Nosepoke! "You're a real cheater, Homura. It annoys me, but it's endearing too."

Then Hannah huffs. "Yeah, yeah you should. You need to learn, more importantly, who it's safe to share your thoughts with. Some people will use you for it, others will think more of you for it. One guess which one I am." Poke poke poke!

"Great! Tell Miss Musket Drill-Curl Queen she can help too. She can handle the drinks."

Hannah winces, and then puts up both hands.

"Heh, I have a hard time imagining that, but I suppose for you it's a lifetime ago. Forget I asked, bad topic."

Even Homura cannot escape the hair-ruffle of apology!

A deep, deep sigh.

"Well, you sure do know how to pick your friends. Do what you have to, Homura. Not that I need to tell you, but yeah, keep her alive, no matter what. I won't forgive you if you do anything less! Got me!?" Hannah's fire goes full force, frowning, /peeeering/ in that almost attack-dog like way at the other girl. Maybe Kyouko and she have a few things in common.

Then, Hannah stands up, and squeezes Homura's shoulder. "Kid doesn't deserve all that. So I'll keep working. Maybe I'll actually find some kind of breakthrough that'll fix you Puella Magi. I hope so, anyway. Or at least make life suck less."

Riiiing. Riing. Click.

"Yo. Eh? Oh, hey, Ao-chan. What's u...That guy is screwing with you again!? Oh that's it! Stay where you are, he has a butt-beating with his name on it!"


"Sorry Homura, I need to go bail out my own friend from a stalker. Thanks for the meeting and the advice. Take care, huh? And let's go shopping some time, you need a decent dress or two!" With a grin, she's off to perform violence upon some poor lovestruck boy. Poor guy.
Homura Akemi 2016-01-04 02:04:11 20607
    Homura's nose scrunches as Hannah pokes it. She stares confused at Hannah as she's repeatedly poked, and she starts to giggle. Something has certainly been happening to her if she's giggling this easily. Her laugh doesn't even have the bitterness or coldness that Hannah might be used to.

    "I guess that's the real issue, isn't it? Knowing who to trust. Or maybe even... who can handle it, or who will do something crazy with it."

    As Homura is hair-ruffled, she just says, "Eh, it's alright. I mean, that was half my life ago. If nothing else, the life I lead has forced me to become a stronger person."

    The thought of Madoka makes Homura smile. The smile comes across in her voice. "I will keep Madoka alive, and I'll find a way she can be happy, no matter what. If I thought it was impossible, I wouldn't still be fighting."

    Homura listens as Hannah gets a phone call, and it's apparently about a stalker? Homura blinks. "Oh geeze. Um. Good luck with that?" She's not sure how to respond, but she knows how protective Hannah is.